Re-rooted in Orthopraxy: A Call of Return to Loving Relations

“I wish more Christians were like you.” This statement caught me off guard. It came from a co-worker who had grown up somewhere between Sikhism and Christianity. She had attended a local Christian school that left a bad taste of the faith. I had actually done a teaching practicum at that school and was able to dissect the various issues she had been left with. Through honesty and openness that had been established beforehand, she came to see that Christianity is much more than the small example she was given.


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/11246
2 Likes

The church often is urged to go share the truth (28 fundamental doctrines). Reform needs to start here. Its Christ we need to share. His character. Then His teachings.

3 Likes

Thanks for an excellent call to orthopraxy. We plow the same ground, decade after decade, even the same furrows year after year. I’m convinced of two things. One is that many Adventists are not willing — perhaps too afraid — to question the authenticity of what they are told by people whose authority they are not willing to challenge. Second, many Adventists think that by giving up what they suppose is the objective truth of the 28 Fundamental Beliefs, they’ll be tossed into subjectivism (akin to “socialism” for some). It’s a false dichotomy. We’re not faced with objectivism vs subjectivism but trust vs objectivism. Our understanding of Scripture is illuminated by research, language study, and history, but more importantly by prayer, the Holy Spirit, one’s trust in Christ, and the counsel of others.

7 Likes

A much needed piece on misplaced emphasis. God is about people, restoring our sense of belonging, value, dignity, and sense of purpose, as we find our place and home with him.

One other point…people leave the church not just because of an emphasis on doctrine over people. Some leave because they become convinced that the doctrinal edifice has real cracks, that it is essentially a house of cards.

The Adventist church is not open to any substantive emendation of its belief system. It is viewed by many as resistant to any theology outside of its own walls, to science, and to history, including a real look at its own. This is also a real problem. It affects and can damage people.

Thanks…

Frank

3 Likes

This is explosive, Kevin R. McCarty.

I’m not even halfway through it, and I’ve got to stop and compliment you on the effectiveness of your writing and the quality of your ideas.

HA

The author is correct that many people leave church or do not join because of a lack of interest in them as persons. I think this has been said a thousand times here and other places. I wonder how many members it leaves with a bad taste of failure.

What about the many members in good standing who are kind and do all the right things but their spouses never join or show an interest? In fact they may even criticize the church. How many women are married to men like this? How do they feel about such articles? Most are women but it includes some men as well. What of the one who is the only Christian in the family and find their witness makes no impact?

What about the introverts with whom friendliness doesn’t come easy?

When I was young I heard you would have a star in your crown for everyone that joined the church as a direct result of your witness. Being shy, I knew I would have no stars.

There are those who give of their means because they can’t preach or witness or be active in church; or those who do much for others but seem to make no influence; sometimes not even get a thank you. They can’t think of one person who stayed in church or joined because of their relationship. For me, my sister did come back after I had a pastor visit her, but her husband never did join her.

I once started to give Bible studies (the kind with fill-in blanks), but could not present prophecies against this women’s church. She had a relationship with Christ, and I felt I could give her nothing more. I remember people I talked to but still left the church. I was not judgmental. I am also uncomfortable making friends with a hidden agenda.

Perhaps someone should write an article on the perfectionism and perfect love that is expected of members as they relate to others. Are we wearing masks for them?

3 Likes

Good thoughts!

Thanks…

Frank

A laudable objective.

But this is not the primary goal of SDA evangelism.

Nor is it the main reason many people chose theirs from any of the 30,000-40,000 different “Christian” DBA’s available to them, each of which businesses collects funds, builds churches, does good deeds, etc., purportedly “in JC’s name”.

Instead, the basic idea behind SDA ministry, along with the teachings of most other Christian religions, is that IT is the “right” one. Therefore these institutions, and many of the individuals who worship them, are mostly interested—okay, in many cases obsessed—with ortho-everything, both doctrine and practice, and their “correct” way of expressing ultimate “truths”, even though their supposed certainty in any matter cannot be conclusively established by anyone possessing a finite intellect and a limited set of facts; that is, by any person on this planet.

Thus there are those in every church—and even a few regular commentators in this forum—who cite memory verses like so many parrots mimicking the words of their trainers. Not to show any affinity for fellow man—in fact, the net effect is as likely to drive people away—nor their love for god.

Rather, the hope seems to be that even if they sound like so much tinkling brass, their overly logical repetition of chosen cliches (absolutely all of which are out of context, both literally and temporally) will magically ensure their being rewarded a treat whenever, and if ever, Jesus eventually decides to answer the curtain call for his encore appearance here on earth. :rofl:

1 Like

This topic was automatically closed after 7 days. New replies are no longer allowed.